Thank you all for your contributions to what was (as I thought it would be!) a very lively discussion. I think it is probably correct to say that Westerners are a bit hypocritical in their opposition to whaling, especially the ones who are quite happy to eat meat from animals that have been factory farmed.
Nevertheless, these right-wing Japanese politicians really frustrate me. Why do they not realise that behaving like a petulant child is a sign of weakness, not a sign of strength? The truth of the matter is that hardly anyone in Japan cares about eating whale meat, so the politicians are just doing it to show that “no one can tell us what to do.” If they were to say, “You know what, we realise that this upsets a lot of people, so we’ve decided to stop doing it,” it wouldn’t look weak at all – quite the opposite, in fact. And Japan’s standing in the international community would go up overnight. That would be real leadership.
Anyway, my goal this week was to make readers of the blog aware of how strongly Westerners tend to feel about this topic and how much damage Japan does to its international reputation by insisting on continuing to kill whales even though a lot of the meat never even gets eaten. I hope that I was at least able to achieve that aim, even if many of you don’t agree with my opinion. I will try to choose a lighter topic for next week!
Here is some feedback on your comments:
I’m not in favor of killing whales for meat, but I’m not particularly against it, either.
fried whale meat was even one of the regular menu in school lunch.
fried whale meat was commonly served in school lunches. (“Menu” means the whole list of things that are served, so you cannot say “one of the menu.” A lot of people make this mistake, so I’m going to put it in my book when I update it.)
I am also against hunting as leisure.
We usually say “hunting for sport.”
To be honest, I don’t really understand why people from other countries get so emotional about whaling.
I think it’s really important for Japanese people to know what other people think.
Having said all this, I’m guessing that the two main reasons why people have strong anti-feelings towards Japan’s whaing is that we are the only country that catches whales in international waters(公海) and that some kinds of whales are endangered.
I think that is a good summary of the problem.
As I mentioned, eating whale meat wasn’t a so unusual thing when I was a child.
“… wasn’t so unusual” or “wasn’t such an unusual thing.” (A-Z: so/such a)
I hear royal families enjoy hunting foxes in the UK,
There is only one, so “I hear the royal family enjoy hunting foxes in the UK,…”
if all the animals expect whales and dolphins extincted from this world,
if all the animals except whales and dolphins became extinct, …
Why do we have to pay money for researching whales when many people still don’t have places to live?
Because the government has to pander to right-wing pressure groups, I think.
Yes, it must be at least more understandable if we killed whales in our own coastal water.
Yes, it would be more understandable if we killed whales in our own coastal waters.
Although it’s true that some are bred for food(養殖魚), but some aren’t same as whales or dolphins
Remember that you don’t need “but” if you begin with “although.”
Personally, I am finding it harder to justify eating meat and even dairy products.
Me too. I was actually a vegetarian for a couple of years when I was younger. It’s extremely difficult to be a vegetarian in Japan, though.
Do you mean that whaling is OK if the way of killing them is not cruel?
Do you mean that whaling would be okay if the method of killing them were not cruel?
It’s just like we’re trying to cover up the truth(actually, it’s not covered at all), and it is really unfair and dishonest.
That is pretty much how everyone except Japan views it.
I guess there is another nasty “amakudari” system in this issue, too.
As I have said before, “amakudari” is like a cancer at the heart of Japanese society. If you find anything dishonest, corrupt, or incompetent in Japan, there is usually some “amakudari” involved somewhere. I sincerely believe that Japan cannot be a great country again until this practice is stamped out. I’m ashamed to say that it even happens at my university.
It may be true that all kinds of whales are “not” being endangered and Japanese researchers don’t catch and kill such endangered whales.
It may be true that not all kinds of whales are endangered, and that Japanese researchers don’t catch or kill the ones that are.
By the way, what “the whale wasn’t going to leave any young” mean??
It means that you shouldn’t kill whales that have babies who are too young to fend for themselves. If someone dies, we often say, for example, “He leaves a wife and two children.”
I’m the one who should apologize!
However, in many case, most of researches seem unnecessary for many other people, so people should be more careful when they say such things, I think.
However, in many cases, a lot of research may seem unnecessary to people who don’t really understand it, so we should not be too quick to deem research unnecessary.
Because I think rights are artificial things, thoughts, or concepts,
That’s a very good point.
I know a majority rule is always right, but it makes much better decisions than an arbitrary rule.
I think it was Winston Churchill who said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” He meant that all systems are bad, but democracy is the “least bad.”
so there might be something weird or off the track with my comment.
so this comment might seem weird or off-track.
however, I don’t get why Japan should stop hunting because of the feelings of other countries.
Nice use of “get” to mean “understand.” Do you all know the expression, “I don’t get it”?
Also, it is done for scientific research.
I don’t think anyone believes this. Even the minister didn’t claim that. He just talked about “tradition” and “culture.” By the way, whaling used to be a big part of American culture, too, but of course they don’t do it anymore.
If Japan stops whaling in this situation, many people would think Japan lose diplomatically and international influence of Japan may be going to weaken,
If Japan stopped whaling, many people would think we would lose face and our international influence would weaken. (As I said above, though, I think the exact opposite is true.)
Western people used to killing whales long time ago for its oil, they killed whales only for oil so they threw the rest.
Western people used to kill whales a long time ago for their oil. They just killed the whales, took the oil, and threw the rest of the animal away. (This is very true. Westerners also used to kill elephants, lions, and tigers just for sport! But like whaling, that has been outlawed by the international community now.)
We don’t talk in person on the blog, so it is sometimes more difficult to express what you really want to say. That’s why many members sometimes add Japanese sentence besides English ones.
That’s true. Please feel free to add Japanese if you are not sure whether your English is correct.
That’s all for today. Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday with a new topic.